Expertise, Insecurity, Growth

If you have been rubbing shoulders with me these past few weeks you know I have been soaking in the wit and wisdom of a life coach named Kary Oberbrunner.  I first heard of this guy on a radio program where he was talking about turning your dreams into a dream job.  Life coaches have a unique gifting of enthusiasm, practicality, and wisdom to assess the qualities of their clients.  Informally we each need to have a life coach, who sees something special in us, and helps us hone in on the clarity of our life’s purpose.

He tells of a story about his own insecurity.  He attended a conference with a number of professionals who were very successful.   As he looked at them he began to feel insecure, and diminished because he did not dress like them, drive the car they drove, or have the title or position they had…. but as he sat in the group for a session he began to hear their apprehensions and fears.  They want to write books, they want to break into that market but they had no clue.  Kary, at that time, had 4 books published and understood the process for doing this. He sat there listening to these professionals, attentive to what they were saying about getting their work published.  The opportunity came and he asked a question: “Do you have a proposal letter for your book?”  to which there was a universal look of puzzlement.  “What is  that?”  Kary began to explain that this is a foundation for the book itself… a synopsis of the scope and purpose of the book.  It is a necessity for staying on course, and writing an effective book.  Likewise, it helps to define the proposal to publishers.  The audience of professionals appeared curious…. “How do you know so much about publishing?” they asked him.  In that instant something switched on in Kary… He went from insecure and obscure to a guy with a message, and a person who has information to share.  His value to the audience grew tremendously.  And his knowledge of publishing propelled him to expert status to this room full of want to be authors.

There were a few clear principles in action in this story.

1.  Be present, and don’t focus on yourself.   By listening and being present in the conversations there was an opportunity to hear what others were struggling with.

2. Experience is a good teacher – Life learning is always great, and our expertise through experience can benefit others in some way.

3. Be willing to serve another person’s needs. – Kary actually landed business to advise and assist several people with the development of their books because they viewed him as an expert with tools and knowledge to help them.

One of the big lessons is to not keep our eyes on ourselves, but look out, and be available if there is a need to share, encourage, strengthen or build.  This is a wonderful quality of a coach.  I have never thought of myself as a coach until I heard this from Kary.  I want to be a coach, and help others discover their potential as i slowly discover my own.

Lesson for me: Everyone has insecurity, and it is only when I press past the insecurity that I can grown, stretch, and discover the next step on the journey.  I hope this encourages you…. like it has me.


Kary Oberbrunner offers a free assessment at: